is a very general description of Earthdog The information is based on the
old rules for Earthdog but it will give you the
general idea of what happens. The
current rules were approved in 2004. (These
are AKC rules. AWTA rules can be found on their web site. Check
Favorite Links page below for that site.)
purpose of Earthdog tests is to offer breeders and owners of small Terriers and
Dachshunds a standardized gauge to measure their dogs natural and trained hunting
and working abilities when exposed to a hunting situation. The program begins with a basic introduction to den work and quarry and progresses
through gradual steps to require the dog to demonstrate that it is capable of
being trained to follow game to ground and work its quarry (adult rats). Note
that the quarry is always protected from being harmed by the dog.
following AKC breeds are classified as eligible to participate in AKC Earthdog tests:
Dachshunds, Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Border Terriers, Cairn
Terriers , Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Fox Terriers (Smooth and Wire), Glen
of Imaal Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Manchester
Terriers, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Schnauzers , Norfolk Terriers,
Norwich Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Silky Terriers, Welsh
Terriers and West Highland White Terriers. (There are additions and deletions to
this list from time to time. The Test Premium will be current.)
dogs entered in Earthdog are to be AKC registered with one exception
Dogs not on the eligible breed list may be run as FEO (For Exhibition Only) in the IQ and JE classes. This provision is designed to help non-eligible breeds to qualify to compete in Earthdog. It has other uses also but these exceptions must be approved by the Test Chair. FEO dogs do not receive any AKC ribbons, awards or titles. Ask the Test Secretary for help ahead of time.
to Quarry (IQ)
Earthdog Class (JE)
Junior Class tunnel is 9"x9" and 30 feet long with three 90-degree turns. The handler must
stand quietly at the release point (which is 10 feet from
the earth entrance) and may only give one command or signal upon the release of
the dog. The dog must travel the entire length of the tunnel within 30 seconds of
this release and work the quarry continuously for 60 seconds. A dog must pass two
tests, under two different judges, to earn a JE.
Senior Earthdog test is open only to dogs with a JE title. The Senior Earthdog
den layout more closely resembles an actual den in the wild. The tunnel in this
class is the same same size and length as JE tunnel with these additions.
There is a false exit
(not scented) and a false den (containing used bedding but no quarry). The
release point is 20 feet from the den entrance, which is steeper and less visible
than the JE test. The dog must reach the quarry within 90 seconds after release
and work the quarry for 90 seconds. The judge then removes the quarry and
instructs the handler to recall the dog, which must make it back to the control
of the handler within 90 seconds. A dog must pass this test three times under two
different judges to earn the SE title.
Master Earthdog (ME)
Master Earthdog test is only open to dogs with an SE title. The Master Earthdog
tunnel has two more additions to the Senior layout. It contains a constriction point
reduced to 6 inches wide rather than 9
inches, for 18 inches, and an obstruction to simulate a root, consisting of a 6-inch diameter
pipe across the tunnel that can be moved up or down by the dog. The dogs
are selected by random draw and worked in a brace. The test begins with the
release of both dogs 100 to 300 yards from the den entrance and a “hunt”
walk to the den. Once both dogs find the entrance, the dog finding the entrance
second must "honor", by being staked out nearby while the first dog
works the den. They will trade places when the first dog finishes working. The
staked dog should be reasonably quiet and not interfere with the dog in the den. The working dog has 90 seconds after
release to find the quarry and must work the quarry for 90 seconds. The Judge
will dig and scrape on or near the quarry cage, for the last 30 seconds when the dog
is working to simulate the digging of rescuers as if it were a real hunt. The dog
must continue to work without being stopped by this distraction. To earn the
Master Earthdog title, dogs must pass this test four different times under at
least two different judges.
As presented these are very general descriptions only and as written based on old
Rules. A copy of the current Rules and Regulations for Earthdog can be obtained through
the AKC Store at http://akc.org.
more history, click on the ferrets at the bottom of the History
This page was last updated on 07/12/10.